Friday 5 March 2021

the distant future...

After fifteen years of sterling service, we said goodbye to our first ever dishwasher last week. 

As a slimline, MFI own-brand ("Diplomat") that came as part of our extremely cheap kitchen overhaul more than a decade ago, it's fair to say that this appliance vastly exceeded my expectations (just as the kitchen did itself. RIP MFI).  Not only did it do a perfectly acceptable job cleaning the dishes, but it also displayed a surprising longevity.

As with many things, I didn't know quite how much this had become a part of our lives until its seals failed and we were suddenly forced to handwash everything. It's not that I especially mind doing the dishes, it's just that I'd forgotten quite how much they pile up when you can't just stack them into the machine out of sight.

A friend was telling me last week that he knows someone who doesn't even bother having cupboards in his kitchen any more; he just has two dishwashers and uses one for storing dirty dishes, and the other for storing clean. I suppose you have to admire that sort of commitment to minimalism, even if it's probably not for everyone. My wife, for some reason, doesn't even subscribe to the idea that a dishwasher dries everything well enough that you can just put them straight into the cupboard and insists on a wipedown. I roll my shoulders and agree to this, on the understanding that she realises I don't bother doing this when she's not in the room.

A replacement appliance was pretty easy to source, even during a pandemic. John Lewis quickly came round with a new machine, installed it and took the old one away for recycling. 

So long and thanks for all the clean dishes.

As you'd expect, the new one works in much the same way as the old one, although the shelves aren't shaped the same way and I haven't yet quite worked out the most efficient way of stacking things as they don't fit in the same places in the same way as they used to. This is a very small, albeit mildly vexing, problem.

What's really taken me aback though is the fact that this new device is connected to the internet. As the keen owner of a brand new appliance, I dutifully connected it to my WIFI and can now contemplate at leisure the wisdom of this... who knew that there would be a need to receive so many push notifications about the salt and rinse aid status of my new machine, or that I would need to know, to the second, what stage the cleaning cycle was at and when it would be due to finish? It also projects a HAL-like red light onto the floor when it is in operation, so you don't distrub it by opening it before its work is done.

When the machines take over, as they surely will, I for one will be amongst the first to welcome our new robot masters.

I should do more middle class consumer reviews here, no?

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